Moab has a problem: It’s the “more is always better” approach to our economy, which is inevitably tied like a Siamese twin to our community and its quality of life. Let me ask you: has the 100-fold increase in Arches visitors made your life better? How about having thousands of new hotel rooms? Do you think that if the state and travel council keep spending hundreds of thousands of advertising dollars taken from town revenue every year it will enhance your quality of life?
Michael Liss, in publicly threatening the National Park Service, has definitely got his head in the wrong place and is totally ignoring the elephant in the room: too many people.
Steve Russell nailed it. There is such a thing as carrying capacity, as in too many rats in the cage, or too many people on the awning (thank you for the image, Philadelphia!). Perhaps Michael is first a developer and wants more money, whatever the cost to those of us calling Moab home … Home, at least for now, while you can still actually go out to a restaurant or drive out of town without hitting a traffic jam, as long as your urge doesn’t hit on a peak weekend.
Please don’t get me wrong: I love people. But I also love wildlife, natural open space, quiet, dark skies, and friendly, considerate neighbors, as opposed to hordes of noisy, careless weekend warriors. I don’t care if I have to give up a little wealth to have a sane and happy life in a beautiful, spiritual place. We are not starving for food, but maybe we are getting hungry for the wonderful small town life we used to have.
People will always argue that more is better: more money, more stores, more services, more houses, more toys, more travel, more food, more partying … but more is not always freedom and happiness, especially when your town, land and planet are sinking under the weight of “more is better.” People like our deplorable, gerrymandering, public lands-destroying state and federal representatives do not care about us: They care about their wallets and world paradigm, which is directly opposed to the native, indigenous worldview that everything is sacred, every life worthy of consideration. In the headlong rush to convert everything mysterious and uplifting about Moab into money and selfies, I pray we can hold the vision of the beauty and fulfillment that brought us here and not be bamboozled by the money and power-hungry racket of the self-serving.
Less advertising! More habitat for wild things and our restless spirits! Show us what you got, Sagebrush rebels, land lovers, restless wanderers of open country and the unknown! We all need your hearts and passion, but not your self-appointed, capitalist-in-benefactors’-clothing leaders!
Thanks, Moab … it’s been a great run. How much longer it goes is directly tied to how much our good thing is advertised. If you’re going to invite someone, try inviting respectful, low-impact house guests that actually contribute something other than just money (and headaches) to our community. And if you can stand listening to rich men whining, help kill advertising with the TRT (Transient Room Tax)!